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Fast Forward

Fast Forward is the Minnesota Council on Foundation’s (MCF) audio program that features conversations with big thinkers in the field of philanthropy. Through these interviews, listeners learn about the latest trends in Minnesota grantmaking, gain insights on strategies behind important philanthropic efforts, learn about new resources from their peers, and come away inspired with ideas and approaches they can take back to your organization.
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Feb 5, 2016

Ho Nguyen is a program officer at PFund Foundation. Formerly, she was the grassroots advocacy coordinator with Pro-Choice Resources, and she has been actively engaged in anti-racist work and social justice strategies for over a decade. Her background is in housing, homelessness, poverty, and ensuring that all people and families have access to safe and affordable housing. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the MN Coalition for the Homeless.

Jan 14, 2016

Leah Goldstein Moses founded The Improve Group in 2000 with a vision to improve programs and organizations that impact the world. In this conversation, we talk with Moses and The Improve Group’s research and evaluation director Jennifer Obinna about how grantmakers can and should be using evaluation in their work. They address best practices in evaluation, the importance of thinking through how evaluation aligns with your identity as a foundation, building evaluation capacity, how to decide when to bring in outside help for evaluation and what to do with evaluation data once you’ve captured it. They also talk about setting realistic expectation for the outcomes of investing in evaluation and share why they are personally passionate about their work.

Dec 17, 2015

This past September, Sarah Eagle Heart became CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy. Eagle Heart is a 2014 recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s “40 under 40 Award,” which recognizes emerging Native American leaders who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication and made significant contributions in business or their community. She is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and she has a master's in business administration, a BA in mass communications and a BA in American Indian studies. 

Dec 10, 2015

Beth Zemsky is a community organizer, educator, psychotherapist and organizational leader. In this interview, Zemsky talks with Alfonso Wenker, MCF's director of program strategy and racial equity, about her multidisciplinary approach to intercultural organizational development.

Nov 11, 2015

“My life has been focused on a deep belief that education is a liberating force in human development," says Dr. Eric Jolly, new president and CEO of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. In this episode, MCF president, Trista Harris sits down with Jolly for a conversation about his transition from decades spent working in academia and the non-profit sector to the world of foundations. He talks about the unique role community foundations play in philanthropy, the outpouring of support he's received from the sector, where Minnesota Philanthropy Partners is as they celebrate 75 years and where they're headed in the next 75.

Oct 13, 2015

Terri Ann Lowenthal is a nationally recognized expert on the census and a consultant specializing in the census, the federal statistical system and the use of data for policy purposes. Lowenthal is currently part of The Census Project, a nonpartisan collaborative of census stakeholders supporting the census and other vital Census Bureau programs. Go to censusprojectblog.org for her writing on the subject. In this interview, Lowenthal talks about the importance of the census and the American Community Survey and gives examples of how the collected data is used. She talks frankly about how and why certain legislators and politicians are trying to disrupt data collection and the census overall.

Oct 12, 2015

Molly de Aguiar directs the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s media grants, while also managing the foundation's communications initiatives. She’s working at the intersection of grantmaking, communications, media and community building. In this interview, she talks about tools and the ways grantmakers can tell their own stories as well as the stories of their grantees. Go to www.grdodge.org to see more.

Oct 5, 2015

Akhtar Badshah is the founder and chief catalyst of Catalytic Innovators Group. He led Microsoft’s global community investment and employee program for 10 years. Badshah spoke at the 2015 Minnesota Council on Foundations Annual Conference. In this interview, he talks about impact investing, mission-driven corporate giving, and the importance of putting a face and name to the communities grantmakers serve.

Jun 15, 2015

MCF President Trista Harris sits down for a wide-ranging conversation with Paul Williams, president and CEO of Project for Pride in Living. Topics they discuss include the need for grantmakers to view communities as assets, the importance of scale in making a real impact, and his wish for philanthropy to create greater leverage with government.

Jun 15, 2015

Trista sits down for a wide-ranging talk with Paul Williams, president and CEO of Project for Pride in Living. Topics they discuss include the need for grantmakers viewing communities as assets, the importance of scale in making a real impact, and Paul's wish for philanthropy to create greater leverage with government.

May 26, 2015

Bob Tracy, MCF's director of public policy and communications, talks to George Cheung about The Joyce Foundation's democracy strategy, the meaning of civic engagement grantmaking and resources grantmakers can use to learn more.

May 20, 2015

MCF president Trista Harris speaks with Jenny Harms, network manager at the national Council on Foundations. They discuss the benefits of infusing regional foundation associations, such as MCF, with ideas from across the country.

Jan 15, 2015

Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills Foundation talks to MCF president Trista Harris about the General Mills approach to grantmaking and its work with Hunger-Free Minnesota.

Oct 6, 2014

Chris Cardona, director of philanthropy at TCC Group and speaker at the 2014 MCF Annual Conference, speaks to Alfonso Wenker, MCF's director of program strategy and racial equity, about how philanthropy can be more accessible to underserved communities.

Aug 21, 2014

In her role at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Trish Tchume hears a lot about what young people in the sector need to do to develop their leadership skills. Tchume talks with MCF president Trista Harris about the five most important things organizations can offer. She also discusses the work YNPN has done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy to bridge the divide between foundations and nonprofits.

Jul 28, 2014

Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, talks with Trista Harris, MCF president, about effective practice in philanthropy, tools offered by CEP, and advice for what foundations can do when they're interested in starting down the path of more effective grantmaking.

Jul 14, 2014

Mark Lindberg, director of relief, recovery and development at the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, tells MCF president Trista Harris about the foundation's relief and resilience program, its focus on lower-attention events that don't typically receive much philanthropic support, and its interest in engaging local community members as key partners.

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